Turkey, Please, and Hold the Mistletoe

It's nearly Thanksgiving, and that means that, wherever you may be, you've almost certainly heard someone complaining about the Christmas decorations which are already everywhere. They'll probably rant about the ever-increasing commercialization of the holiday perverting the Christmas spirit. Well, it's my turn to complain, but not for that reason. For me it's much simpler: I want to enjoy the coming holiday before I get to the next one.

In Huntington Beach, on the corner of Warner and Beach, there is a tall office building. Every year during the holiday season, a huge Christmas tree-shaped light arrangement is put on the roof. You can see it from literally miles around. My wife, of course, loves Christmas and can't wait to see that tree every year. This year it went up on October 30th. That's right, I said October. It's not enough that Thanksgiving is pre-empted, now we have to bulldoze right over Halloween as well.

Thanksgiving is a big deal in my family. It's a holiday I look forward to all year; it's my mom's favorite of them all. I think it has something to do with our love of food. Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving is a special time for me, a time for family and close friends, for tradition, for warm feelings and the satisfaction of an uncomfortably full stomach.

And why shouldn't Thanksgiving be a holiday for all Americans? It's not a religious holiday, and so it has none of the same controversy that Christmas does. No, it is a holiday for all Americans. It is a time for us all to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for, a time to be with those you love and who love you, and, aside from all of the rest, a time to eat.

So come on and give Thanksgiving a chance! Leave your Christmas decorations down until Friday and have a happy Turkey Day!


This weekend, Juliette dragged me to this movie. I wouldn't say that I was quite kicking and screaming, but just about. So I'm sure you can guess my impression of the film before I saw it. Here's my impression afterwards: not as dumb as I expected. Actually, the script was pretty tight and it could have been quite a good movie. Tragically, the people in charge of this one decided to cast Will Ferrell as the lead, utterly ruining an otherwise good story. Why they would cast a guy whose performances are always so desperate for attention and so devoid of heart is beyond me. I did actually enjoy almost all of the time when Ferrell wasn't on screen. Unfortunately, that wasn't much.

Viewed: 11/14/2003 | Released: 11/6/2003 | Score: C

IMDb Page

The Matrix Revolutions

The second installment of this trilogy left a lot of people confused and unsatisfied. The concluding film certainly has some ambiguous moments, but far fewer than the second, and it does a good job of wrapping up the series. Don't worry if you don't understand everything on your first viewing--I don't--because you don't have to fully comprehend every nuance of the story in order to appreciate it. On one level, it's a story about good people in a terrible situation, and how they get through it. And even if you never look any deeper than that, it's still a good series. But the opportunity to look deeper is there, for anyone who wants to, so if you're the type to watch a movie ten times trying to figure everything out, I suspect analysis will not weaken this one.

Viewed: 11/7/2003 | Released: 10/26/2003 | Score: A

IMDb Page

Love Actually

I caught a sneak preview this weekend of what is likely this season's hit romantic comedy. And it was both funny and touching. Some of the voiceover was a little cheesy, there were some serious continuity problems, and the various storylines weren't woven together quite as skillfully as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed the movie very much and found myself very emotionally involved with the characters. Anyone who liked Richard Curtis' previous films should like this one as well.

Viewed: 10/31/2003 | Released: 11/5/2003 | Score: B

IMDb Page